Thanksgiving Turkey Chili

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I worked a 12 hour shift Thanksgiving Day AND I had family coming into town Thanksgiving night.  I wanted to come up with a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, but there was no way I could throw together the traditional turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, pie, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes that I grew up having….all by 8 pm.  After quite a bit of thought, I decided to do kind of a fun, Paleo slow cooker twist on Thanksgiving dinner.

About a month ago, I posted a Chicken Chili recipe.  I thought perhaps turkey might be a good substitute for the chicken.  I roasted my very first turkey 2 days before T-Day.  The turkey actually turned out amazingly well.  The carving….well, it was more like butchering.  No matter.  Turkey is still delicious whether perfectly carved or in bit size ripped off hunks.

I followed the recipe fairly strictly…with a few adjustments.  I substituted turkey for chicken.  I don’t know exact weight, but it was a couple few pounds.  In my opinion, it doesn’t really matter.  Secondly, I saved the juices from the roasting pan.  Instead of making gravy with the juices, I used the turkey drippings in place of the chicken stock.  Third, I threw a handful of cranberries into the slow cooker for a little color, tartness, and holiday flare.

I let the chili cook for a solid 12 hours.  A bit long for my liking, but that’s ok.  It truly was the perfect meal for Thanksgiving Day after a 12 hour shift.  Everyone LOVED it. To keep with the Thanksgiving dinner theme, I served it with sweet potato chips, Maple Paleo Cornbread, and a delicious cranberry prosecco.  Grain-free, dairy-free Pumpkin Pie for dessert.

This is a perfect way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers.  A hearty chili on these cool autumn….almost winter…days.  Definitely a crowd pleaser.

I hope that you had a very merry Thanksgiving, full of blessings and delicious food.

Happy Eating!

Paleo Chicken Chili

 

chicken chili

Before switching to clean eating, I was a sucker for chicken chili.  My mom makes THE.BEST I’ve ever had.  Cream of chicken soup. Cream of mushroom soup.  Tons and tons and tons of cheese. Beans.  But this chilly, overcast day,I was totally jonesin’ for some Paleoified chicken chili.  Juli, from PaleOMG, has some pretty legit recipes on her site.  I decided to give this one a try, but with a slow cooker spin

Ingredients (for original recipe)
2 lbs chicken, diced into 1 inch cubes
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1-2 jalapenos, seeded and minced (depending how spicy you want it)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1-1.5 cups chicken broth
½ cup canned coconut milk
1 (4 oz) can green chiles
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon sage
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon white pepper
⅛ teaspoon ground red pepper

Instructions
1. Grab a large soup pot, put over medium heat, and add your olive oil and minced garlic.
2. Once the garlic is fragrant, add your chicken to begin to cook down. Mix as needed with a wooden spoon to cook on both sides.
3. Once your chicken is half way cooked through, add in your peppers, onions, jalapeños, and green chiles. Mix together and let cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Now add your chicken broth and coconut milk, along with all of your spices.
5. Stir together.
6. Cover and let simmer for about 5-7 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
7. Consume!!

I really wanted to use a slow cooker for this.  I love the idea of throwing everything into the pot in the morning then having a delicious, stress-free meal later in the day.  I just threw the chicken into the slow cooker, added my chicken broth, peppers, onions, chiles, and spices.  I omitted the sage due to pretty healthy allergy.  Also, I didn’t have any red pepper on hand, so I used chili powder instead.  I was fresh out of coconut milk or even heavy whip, so I used almond milk to make is somewhat creamy.  About an hour or two before dinnertime, I took the chicken out, shredded it, then placed it back into the slow cooker.  I ended up cooking my chili about 7-8 hours.  I topped my chili with some avocado and a little green onion.  Served with sweet potato chips. 

Verdict: delicious!  The chili wasn’t as creamy as I expected, but I suppose it would have been had I added the coconut milk.  The consistency was more like a chicken noodle soup without the noodles. It does thinken up a bit the next day. The flavor.  A little spice, a lot of flavor.  Peppers, garlic, oregano, cumin, chili powder.  Just a hearty and perfect flavor layering.  Next time, I plan to use full fat coconut milk and perhaps add a little cilantro into the batch. Other than that, the flavor was spot on.

Love LOVE slow cooker recipes.  This one was definitely a win.  This would be awesomeperfect for the firehouse or on one of those super busy days where you go go go go go and are exhausted come dinner time.  A little prep, then forget about it.  I’ll make this again.  Definitely make this again.  I think husband will even like it.

Happy eating!

Original recipe HERE

Pumpkin Chili with Avocado Cream

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I was intrigued when I first read through this recipe, so of course I decided I must try it.

My first thought, “Wow, this is a party for my tastebuds.” Really really. Part of the recipe involves making a homemade chili spice mixture. It’s really quite complex. With each bite, there are hints of cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, cocoa… There are also slight pumpkin undertones. And THEN you have the avocado cream. In my opinion, the avocado cream completes the dish. The coolness of the avocado and citrus is refreshing. This makes a pretty big batch. Great for a cozy evening inside when It’s cold and snowy outside.

Recipe found here.  Another Health-Bent win. These guys are paleo culinary geniuses. I am always amazed at the combinations they come up with.

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

squash soup
My friend, Kim, told me about this one. Peel and chop a butternut squash as well as one yellow onion. Combine the squash, onion, 2 cans (or 1 carton) of chicken broth, salt, and pepper in a pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer until soft. Once everything is soft and tender, remove from heat and cool for a bit. Add the mixture to a blender. At this time, I added a bit of heavy whipping cream. You can top it with green onion, chopped apple, or crumbled bacon. Serve and enjoy.

This stuff is delicious. It also reheats quite well. There are all sorts of different Veggies and spices you can add. Experiment a little.